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Toxicology. 2009 Sep 1;263(1):70-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2008.09.012. Epub 2008 Sep 21.

Therapeutic options to treat sulfur mustard poisoning--the road ahead.

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Research Division, US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5400, United States.


For the past 15 years the international research community has conducted a basic and applied research program aimed at identifying a medical countermeasure against chemical threat vesicant, or blistering, agents. The primary emphasis of this program has been the development of therapeutic protection against sulfur mustard and its cutaneous pathology-blister formation. In addition to the work on a medical countermeasures, significant research has been conducted on the development of topical skin protectants and medical strategies for wound healing. This review will focus on the pharmacological strategies investigated, novel therapeutic targets currently under investigation and therapeutic approaches being considered for transition to advanced development. Additionally, we will review the expansion of our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of mustard injury that has come from this research. While great strides have been made through these investigations, the complexity of the mustard insult demands that further studies extend the inroads made and point the way toward better understanding of cellular and tissue disruptions caused by sulfur mustard.

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